Feature Me Friday: Candy Calamity

This week for Feature Me Friday, we have Emily of
Candy Calamity from St. Louis, Missouri.
Who is Candy Calamity?
I make jewelry and other accessories from recycled materials,
sometimes including candy wrappers like Starbursts, Dum
Dums, and chocolate bars, but always including what I call a
‘candy aesthetic.' I love bright splashy colors and fun modern

Starburst Double Cuff
Why work with recycled materials?
I love the challenge of working with a limited material set. It
inspires me to think of new solutions & techniques when I can
only work with the materials I’ve collected or had donated.

Where do you work?
My studio is in the front room of my apartment. It’s nice to
have a space to keep everything contained, or else I’d be finding
craft supplies sprinkled all over the place. I like to keep the
blinds on all 4 windows wide open to take advantage of daylight
hours, plus the birds outside keep the cat entertained.

What music do you listen to while you’re working?
I’m devoted to a local radio station, The Arch 106.5. I keep a
radio on that station all the time when I’m working. Today they
just played some Bonnie Tyler, Kenny Loggins, Green Day, Bon
Jovi and Soft Cell, so I’m rocking out.

What are the five best things you've purchased on etsy
and where did you find them?

Five handmade goodies that get almost daily use at my house
A carnival photo set by bomobob framed in my dining room

A shine colander pin cushion from fellow trashionista Loneweever

2 corkboards by The Crafty Wino are keeping my office organized

Handmade mandarin bergamot soap and grapefruit
sugar scrub cubes from Bella Luna are the BEST

And my first every Etsy purchase:
some chocolate and lime arm warmers by Dyno

Pasticcio resin earrings - fiery sunset
Read any good books lately?
I just finished A Series of Unfortunate Events, by Lemony
Snicket, which was a huge downer, and then I picked up
Love in the Time of Cholera, by Gabriel García Márquez,
which is also on the sad side – only cheerful books for me
from now on.

Who inspires you?
I have had the pleasure to meet so many awesome crafty ladies
(too many to name) through my two street teams: the St. Louis
team Show Me Etsy and the Trashion Team.
Being surrounded by all this talent gives me a huge boost to be
able to do what I do, without my two street teams I probably
would have quit long ago.

Fortune Pendant - Surprise in Store
What do you do for fun?
I have a major sweet tooth and love baking and cake decorating.
I also live close enough to the Missouri Botanical Garden to go
visit the flowers and I walk around there all the time.
It’s a beautiful place.

Besides Etsy, where can we find your work?
I do a lot of shows in the St. Louis area. My next show is
the Tower Grove Farmers Market on August 21st.
This fall I’ll be at the Green Homes Show, September 25th,
Show Me Etsy’s Artropy show on December 2nd, and
the Every Artist Market, December 11th.
I’m still working on the full schedule, but I always keep an
updated list on my blog for anyone who’s looking for me.

How do you promote your work?
You can find Candy Calamity on Facebook
and I’m 2/3 of the way done with Craft 365 on Flickr.
I’m posting a picture of one crafty thing I do each day.

Have any words of wisdom?
Even if an idea seems totally crazy go with it!
You never know how things are going to turn out.

What's in your future?
I don’t know! That’s what makes it so exciting

Flower Brooch - sweetheart
"Now you can eat your candy, and wear it too!"


Marketing Monday: Create Your Own Website

Do you have your own website?

Maybe you have great web design skills and you've done it all yourself?

The Art of Assemblage by zJayne

Or maybe you had some help? A friend? Someone in the family?

Or maybe you have made your blog your website, because
Blogger now allows you to add pages to your website.
Recently, on design*sponge there was a how-to using WordPress:
Biz Ladies: Get a Website in a Weekend

Design Sponge

Still seems a like a little too much for you?
How about ? Check out the demo!

" allows anyone to create an elegant and dynamic
website using personal content from around the web for only
$20 a year." And you can try it for free.

There's also soopsee, where you can create a website from your
Etsy shop. You can import your Etsy listings, your blog, host
your site on your domain, and list other locations that sell
your work. And they have free accounts, too.

What other places do you know where you can create your
very own website?


Feature Me Friday: Alex Keller

This week for Feature Me Friday, we have Alex Keller of
alex keller and vintage by alex keller from Tucson, AZ.

Who is Alex Keller?
My passion is beauty. It encompasses fashion, art and design.
In my corner of the world, I have channeled it into making jewelry.
My line, Jewelry Recycled, was inspired at the jewelry counter of
a resale shop. It includes antique, vintage and resale jewelry that
I have reconstructed into fresh and {new} pieces.
My addiction is thrifting and antiquing. Vintage by Alex Keller
started as a place to sell vintage jewelry. It has grown into a curation
of housewares and décor that I would want for myself. These items
stay with me for a time, are rediscovered, and make their way to
new homes.

What’s the first thing you remember making?
The very first thing was probably clothes for my Barbies from scraps
of fabric leftover from my mom sewing our clothes. Then last year,
I picked up some old jewelry supplies and made a necklace for a
woman I met. She is a shaman I met in my previous career,
financial planning. We talked one day, and she helped me realize
what I already knew - I wanted to create.

last dance - silver chains and pearls - a necklace of vintage and recycled jewelry

Why work with recycled materials?
I was on my way to the Tucson Gem and Mineral show, which
is a huge event and very popular with jewelry artists. I had
stopped at a resale shop on my way there. Standing in line at the
cash wrap, I looked down to see a whole case full of jewelry.
So I thought, why not use what is already here?

Where do you work?
I carved out a space in our spare room. It is where we have the
family computer and it used to be a guest room with a futon.
But much to my husband's chagrin, I always take over the dining
room table which doubles as a pool table.

How do you get from A to Z?
I usually buy in bulk, so half the fun is separating everything out.
I usually get ideas from the pieces themselves, but also from fashion
magazines, catalogs, vintage pieces and of course all the inspiration
that is online.

What are your favorite tools?
My jewelry tools, and a watch repair kit.

What music do you listen to while you’re working?
I am one of those few people who likes to work in quiet.

What are the five best things you’ve purchased on etsy
and where did you find them?

This is the most difficult question. I am a complete Etsy addict
and spend everything I make on Etsy. Most of my purchases have
been with these talented artists:

paintings from sagittariusgallery
ceramics from mudpuppy and alyssaettinger
photography from citylight
clothing from iheartnorwegianwood and katetowers
marketing and design from TialeyStudioDesigns

me and you - vintage wooden letter blocks

Read any good books lately?
I am a member of The Slow Readers book club. We have read
Half Broke Horses by Jeanette Walls. I am a bit behind, with
Alice I Have Been by Melanie Benjamin and People of Paper by
Salvador Plascencia.

Been to any great exhibits?
Last year I was able see a fantastic outdoor exhibit at the Desert
Botanical Gardens
in Scottsdale, AZ. Dale Chihuly installed an
exhibit of his glass works and it was the most amazing display.
I went twice. If you have ever been to Las Vegas, his work is at
the Bellagio.

Who inspires you?
My mom, who taught me a lot of crafting and recycling, and
my friends - we inspire each other.

crystal clear - a bracelet of vintage and recycled jewelry

What do you do for fun?
Shop! I love to go thrifting and antiquing, and of course, getting
lost on Etsy.

Besides Etsy, where can we find you work?
Besides Etsy, my work is at cosa verde, Emmaline Bride,
Indie Fixx Galleria, and next week I will be up on papernstitch.
Locally, my work is at a great shop called Pop - Cycle, where
all the merchandise is recycled and sustainable.

How do you promote your work?
There is a line from Glengarry Glen Ross, "A-B-C.
A-Always, B-Be, C-Closing. Always be closing, always be closing."
I am always promoting. I carry my cards with me everywhere,
I make treasuries on Etsy, I advertise online and I use social media.
All the links are on my new web page, Alex Keller Studio.

Have any words of wisdom?
A fortune cookie says it all:
"Doing what you love is freedom. Loving what you do is happiness."

vintage wooden letter blocks - love

What’s in your future?
I hope to continue to grow the vintage shop. I really enjoy
the thrill of the chase, and I will be expanding the vintage
blocks to include monograms and sports teams.
I also plan to become more focused with the jewelry shop.
My first pieces were more fashion and wedding inspired.
Then I did an architectual collection. Recently, I came out
with a new collection, Mid Century Modern. The pieces were
inspired by my love of mid century modern design.
I plan to introduce a new collection in September, something
that again combines my love for fashion and vintage.

grey garden necklace - vintage and recycled jewelry


Trash Talk Thursdays: Trashion Christmas in July!

Shopping green?
Yes, there are 156 shopping days until Christmas,
but Trashion Fantastic isn't on sale every day!
Find unique gifts for unique people while saving the planet and a couple of bucks too!
Find Free Shipping of upcycled wool by Ginkgo Fabrics!
Save up to 50% off the funky yet fabulous vintage finds at
. Free Shipping abounds at Wings of Flutter !
Ho, ho, ho it's Free Shipping with Sew Trendy too!
Save 20% on fab mixed-media upcycled jewelry at Anyone's Guess!
Images © 2010


Marketing Monday: Christmas in July

Etsy sellers are having the 3rd Annual Christmas in July sale.

MERRY Scrabble Tile Holiday Ornament

How can you participate?
Visit this post on the Etsy blog The Storque

Dear Santa Reusable Bag/Tote/Market

How can you shop the sale?
Visit this post on the Etsy blog, The Storque

your choice of one red and white OR red and cream holiday stocking

How can you promote?
Blog, tweet, and post your sale on our Facebook Page
Post a comment on this post, too, with a link to your shop!


Feature Me Friday: Unique Euphoria

This week for Feature Me Friday we have Jessica of
Unique Euphoria from Boyceville, WI.

Who is Unique Euphoria?
Just someone who wants to make something pretty out of
something utilitarian. So many people think that electric fence
can only be an electric fence. A glass bottle can only be a glass
bottle. My goal is to make something unexpected in my recycling.
Anyone can reuse a mason jar as a drinking glass or a container of
some type. How about flatten it into a spoon rest?

What’s the first thing you remember making?
My mom was crafty. She would set me down with sewing cards
and things when I was very little. When I was able to grasp crochet,
I had miles and miles of crochet rope that ended up as hair things
and swings for my Barbies. When I was about 10, that was when
I had discovered my mom's long lost stash of pheasant feathers.
It turns out that she used to make hat bands for cowboy hats out of
these feathers. She had boxes of them all sorted out by color that
had never been touched since before I was born. She gave me some
scrap leather and a hot glue gun and I started making jewelry and
hair things. I think that is when I really started making things worth

Up cycled bird feeder

Why work with recycled materials?
Why work with new? Recycling brings new life to something that
would otherwise be thrown away. You can usually get your supplies
for free if not really cheap. Not only that, but you never end up with
the same thing twice when using recycled. You always have an
original one of a kind piece. Last but not least, recycling is good for
our already wounded planet. Just because the item is recyclable,
i.e. glass, certain plastics, metals, does not mean that the recycling
process of melting it down in a foundry and mass producing it into
something new is earth friendly. It is so important to make the most
out of the item that you have before it gets to that point. After you
have expired all your options, then it is ready to send it off to be
processed. Before that point, have fun with your options.

Where do you work?
My husband and I share his shop. He is a mechanic and when I want
to work, he cleans off his bench so I can pull out my welder. The
upstairs of the barn is technically mine where I keep my scroll saw
and kiln, but until I make my first million on Etsy, it is nothing more
than a storage place that I occasionally infiltrate with my stuff. It is
not heated in the winter and it is over 100 degrees up there in the
summer at the moment, so short visits only until I can afford some
heat and decent ventilation.

my shop

How do you get from A to Z?
I don't know. I usually don't have an idea for something when I get it.
I usually just think it is neat. Once I have it, it may sit in my "collection"
for months before I get an idea. Usually it takes the purchase or find of
another object to make me think of finding the original piece.
An example would be, I found this really neat bottle that was shaped
like a cluster of grapes. I had it sitting around for quite a while trying
to decide what on earth to do with it. Just the other day, I got a deal
on some defective solar lights that the home improvement store was
going to throw away. A little 2-part epoxy and a drill and I have a grape
solar light. Now that I have a light, I will make a hanger to hang it from
and hope it sells in my shop.

What are your favorite tools?
My drill, my Snap on grip-it pliers and my Nipex cutters -
Oh, sorry honey, OUR drill, pliers and cutters. The welder IS mine
completely and it is my favorite big tools. I just love to weld.

What music do you listen to while you're working?
I am eclectic. I listen to everything from Eva Cassidy, to Broadway
show tunes, to Dead Kennedys, to Nina Simone to Kimya Dawson.

Flower tea light plant stake

What are the five best things you've purchased on etsy
and where did you find them?

My favorite purchase ever was a milk-glass lavabo from inmynest,
a sunflower tea bag holder from TexasCeramics, a skull pincushion
(My mom's birthday present-she loved it) from NADELWERK,
and some awesome heirloom seeds from fluffnflowers.

Read any good books lately?
Right now I am reading Women Who Run With Wolves by Clarissa
Pinkola Estes. It's about getting in touch with your inner, natural
instincts and the wild and wiser women suppressed by ages of corset
wearing, rules and ideals.

Been to any great exhibits?
I live in the country, so the only exhibits I get to see are what is being
presented at the local craft sales and usually consist of hand-crochet
doilies and beautiful sparkling jars of jelly. While far from the uptown
New York scene, you really can't beat the beauty of a hand quilted
blanket, beautiful examples of canned fruits and vegetables, hand
carved wood figures and piles of gorgeous organic food. Country art
and country living is so down to earth and so generous. There is so
much honesty and so much work involved in making and growing.
You can't help but love just as it is.

Who inspires you?
There was an old man that lived near my home here in Wisconsin
that the natives called "Tinker Frank" Obeser. He was what they
called a kinetic folk artist and made everything from farm animals
to a functioning ferris wheel out of garbage and scraps. His art was
very rough. There was no paint or decoration to pretty it up. If you
look closely, you can see old ripped up plastic, fencing, plastic bottles
and even the elastic from his own old pair of underwear. He was
an absolute riot and such a wonderful inspiration.

Leaf Up cycled Bird Feeder

What do you do for fun?
I like to fish. I rarely catch anything, but I love to just go out and
sit in the quiet and just enjoy my surroundings. Sometimes my kids
come with me, sometimes they do not. Other times we go camping
at our family cabin, swim, sing and just make noise. I like to go
hunting for wild food. Mushrooms, berries, greens anything that is
in season and edible I like to find and make something with. I love
being a mom and enforcing creativity and independent thinking in
my babies.

Besides Etsy, where can we find your work?
Etsy is my only outlet at the moment. I live in the country, so
opportunities for selling my kind of art are scarce. I did have a few
pieces at the local coffee shop until they closed. There just isn't
much action here for things like coffee shops and art.

How do you promote your work?
I twitter and I have facebook as well as my own facebook fanpage.
I also have a blog, uniqueeuphoria. I have a sign on my van and business cards
that I pass out to anyone who seems interested. I think most
of my traffic comes from twitter though.

Have any words of wisdom?
My Mom always says, "You were born an original, don't die a copy."
In other words, think for yourself. Ask questions, enjoy what you
enjoy and don't conform to the mainstream just because it's easier.
Anyone can say it, but not everyone can actually do it. If I can post
a challenge to my fellow man, it's to break your own trail, sing your
own song and do your own thing and mean it, be ready to stand up
for it and fight for it.

What’s in your future?
Happily, I don't know. What do I wish for? To be able to do what
I love and live off of it. To prove to my babies that you can succeed
at life by doing what you really love. To show people that there is
more to the life of a tin can than keeping your peas shelf stable,
that new is not always better and that green is attainable. I wish
to be an impact to my beautiful and quiet country home and to be
enjoyed and accepted for who I am.

Daisy scrubbers


Feature Me Friday: Ginkgo Fabrics

This week for Feature Me Friday, we have Susan of
Ginkgo Fabrics from Camano Island, WA.

Who is Ginkgo Fabrics?
I sell one-of-a-kind handbags that range from recycled wool to
choice fabrics.

Hand  Knit  Suede  Shoulder  Bag

What’s the first thing you remember making?
I was a teenager taking home economics. For extra credit, I
thought I would make a pair of slacks. Just couldn’t figure it
out. Tried & tried! This experience took care of any future
sewing projects for me!!

Why work with recycled materials?
It’s the challenge of it all. I met a gal a few years ago who
worked in a fabric store. Somehow we got on the subject of
“making purses out of wool sweaters”. What a concept; I
thought she was goofy. I got sucked in deep!
Now I have bags & bags & bags of wool sweaters, blankets,
anything wool, but also leather, suede, tapestry, jewelry &
Lately, the net packaging for food has been the item to save.
Oh, & the plastic bags!! Who’s goofy now??? I also know I am
helping the eco-friendly cause & it does make me feel good.

Where do you work?
This is my work space. I work from my home. It may look
cluttered & yes it is, but it is organized mess. The room is
12’w X 16’d not including the closet. Can you tell? I cover
everything with sheets to keep the wool dust from settling on
my books, supplies, etc. It’s easier just to throw those sheets
in the washer.

How do you get from A to Z?
After a sweater has been washed & felted, I cut the sweater
into what I think would produce a nice handbag, but most of
the time the sweater dictates the shape and I go from there.
I usually know then how I want to finish that particular bag.
However, there are those times I sit on a purse for days. I’m
usually working on 3-4 bags at any given time.

What are your favorite tools?
I have 2 Viking sewing machine, they have been faithful to
me. And so has that seam ripper!

What music do you listen to?
I may have a TV on in another room but usually I like it quiet!!

Recycled  Wool  And  Green  Ginger

Read any good books lately?
I don’t really read novels. I borrow a lot of books from the library
for “how to” ideas. I also subscribe to quite a few magazines.

Who inspires you?
That would be my husband. He brings me back to reality &
makes me laugh. Great sounding board even when he’s really
not listening.

Recycled Wool Cuffs

What do you do for fun?
This may sound a bit quirky but my husband & I have taken up
“Zumba”. We have so much fun doing this, we laugh, we sweat
& in the end we really feel great.

Where can we find your work?
I usually do a fall show @ the Camano Island Coffee Roaster
(exhibit is up for 8-10 weeks) here on the island. This year I did
a spring show at the Roaster. I also do a few Craft Fairs in the fall.

How do you promote your work?
Facebook, Etsy of course, but mostly word of mouth.

Glitzy Upcycled Wool Clutch

Have any words of wisdom?
Your ideas may sound far fetched, but they’re probably great
ideas. Make them happen! You don’t want to say, “I should have.”

What’s in your future?
Creating new ideas for those unique products!!!!